Irwin Kremen: Beyond Black Mountain 1966-2006

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Sarah Schroth
Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, 2007 - Art - 130 pages
The renowned artist Irwin Kremen's collages, paintings, and sculptures are composed from such diverse materials as scraps of weathered paper, wasp nests, saw blades, and steel. Irwin Kremen: Beyond Black Mountain (1966 to 2006) is the exhibition catalogue accompanying a retrospective covering forty years of the artist's career. The work will be on display at Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art from March 22, 2007 through June 17,2007. A longtime North Carolina resident and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Duke University, Kremen studied literature and writing with M. C. Richards at the legendary Black Mountain College in the mid-1940s. There he met John Cage, David Tutor, and Merce Cunningham, all of whom became close friends, artistic inspirations, and ardent supporters. Kremen did not show his work publicly until 1978 at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. That first exhibition was mostly small non-representational collages constructed of weathered, faded, and battered papers that he collected from public spaces in Europe. In 1979 his works were exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution's National Collection of Fine Arts and were received enthusiastically; the Washington Star heralded him as "an American master of collage" on the level of "Robert Motherwell, Anne Ryan, and Romare Bearden." Since that time - in spite of purposefully operating outside the mainstream art world and with no formal training - Kremen's work has been shown in nearly thirty solo shows in the United States and abroad and has been favourably reviewed in the New York Times, Washington Post, Artforum International, the Chicago Tribune and Art News, among other publications. His work has been collected by museums and private collectors across the country. The catalogue illustrates in full colour more than one hundred collages as well as twelve sculptures and three monumental pieces made over the past decade in collaboration with the Duke art professor William Noland. The volume contains two essays by Kremen - including one explaining the complex iconography of his Re'eh series of eleven collages referencing the Holocaust - as well as an essay on Kremen's life and work by the curator Sarah Schroth.

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Notes on the Art of lrwin Kremen 1
The Art of lrwin Kremen
On the Making of the Reeh Series and lts lconography

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About the author (2007)


Sarah Schroth is the Nancy Hanks Senior Curator at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

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